νήδυμος. According to Buttm. Lexil. § 81 this form of word is the result of an orthographical error. Originally it was written “ϝήδυμος”, but when the initial digamma was dropped, the “νῦ ἐφελκυστικόν” was affixed to the termination of the foregoing word to avoid hiatus. In process of time, and in a period when writing was rare, this final “ν” was transferred to the next word, and “νήδυμος” came to be accepted as the correct form instead of “ἥδυμος”. Such an etymological accident finds a sort of parallel in the French word lierre, for l'ierre (cp. Lat. edera), and in the English, a newt instead of an eft. “νήδυμος” is used altogether twelve times in Homer. In Il.2. 2; 10.91; 14.242; Od.4. 793; 12. 311, it is preceded by a word capable of receiving the “νῦ ἐφελκυστικόν”, and in Il.10. 187 and 14. 354 by a word naturally ending in “ν”. From this uncertainty, it may be supposed, which thus arose in the pronunciation of the word, the incorrect form “νήδυμος” for “ϝήδυμος” or “ἥδυμος” was extended to those passages in which no final “ν” precedes or can precede the word, e. g. Il.14. 253; 16.454; 23.63; Od.12. 366; 13.79. Aristarchus interprets it as meaning “ἀνέκδυτος” (from “νή-δύω”), and as therefore parallel to “νήγρετος”, but this would be an unsuitable epithet in such a passage as Il.2. 2; the phrase “νήδυμος μοῦσα” h. Vener. 172 is doubtless of much later date; (cp. also h. Merc. 241, and see Baumeist. ad loc.). Düntzer proposes to derive it from “νή” and “δυμός” from a root “δυ”, seen in “δύη, δυερός”, and renders ‘painless.’ Schenkl (quoted by Ameis, Anh. on Od. 13.79) refers it to a Skt. stem nand = ‘gaudere,’ or in a causative sense, ‘exhilarare,’ so that “νήδυμος” may be a euphonic form of “νάνδ-υμος”, the termination being analogous to “δίδυμος, τρίδυμος”. It should be mentioned that Hesiod , Simonides, and Antimachus used a form “ἥδυμος”, and were therefore reproached by Poseidonius and Aristarchus as “παραφθείροντες τὴν Ὁμήρου λέξιν”.
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